Matthew Taylor: Inside the O’s now-ended streak of extra-inning success

The Orioles’ streak of 17 consecutive extra-inning victories ended with Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to Toronto. The Orioles matched the 1949 Cleveland Indians for most consecutive extra-inning victories in major league history. I reviewed the box scores from all 17 games and came away with the following facts and figures:

* The average number of innings played per game during the streak fell just shy of 12 (11.82352941176471, to be exact). The longest game of the streak by innings played was 18 against the Mariners on Sept. 18. The longest game of the streak by time played was 6 hours, and 7 minutes against the Red Sox on May 6.

* The Orioles’ first seven extra-inning victories came on the road. Overall, the Orioles won 11 road games during the streak and walked it off at home six times.

* The O’s won extra-inning games on consecutive days twice during the streak: June 9 and 10 against the Phillies, and Sept. 18 and 19 in Seattle.

* The consistently magnificent bullpen had its longest run of scoreless relief on Sept. 18 against the Mariners. Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day, Pedro Strop, Steve Johnson, Tommy Hunter and Jim Johnson combined for 12 2/3 shutout innings that night. The group posted 16 strikeouts and allowed six hits and four walks.

* Adam Jones homered four times in extras to win games (May 6, May 16, June 9 and Sept. 19). Meanwhile, he singled home Omar Quintanilla on Aug. 7 to give the Orioles an 8-7 win against the Mariners. His ninth-inning homer against the White Sox on April 16 sent the game into extras, where the streak began.

* Taylor Teagarden was an unlikely hero. His two-run homer in the 13th inning helped the Orioles to an 8-6 victory over the Tigers on July 14; he doubled home Mark Reynolds with the winning run in Tampa on Aug. 5; and his RBI single in the top of the 18th inning gave the O’s the victory in Seattle on Sept. 18.

* The Orioles beat the Red Sox most often during the streak, and all four of those wins came at Fenway Park (May 4, May 6, June 5 and Sept. 22). The O’s beat the Rays and the Mariners three times apiece.

* All three of Kevin Gregg’s wins in 2012 were part of the streak. Gregg picked up extra-innings victories against the Royals on May 16, the Nationals on May 18 and the Tigers on July 14.

* The Orioles twice used two-run, ninth-inning rallies to send games into extra innings. Nolan Reimold and Adam Jones both homered in the top of the ninth inning on April 16 to turn a 4-2 deficit into a tie the game with the White Sox. One month later, on May 16, Wilson Betemit homered and J.J. Hardy hit an RBI single to knot things up at three runs apiece.

* Matt Wieters bookended the streak with grand slams. His grand slam on April 16 capped the scoring in a six-run 10th inning at Chicago. It was his second homer of the game. Philip Humber started for the White Sox and pitched a perfect game in his next outing. Last week, Wieters’ hit the Orioles’ first walk-off grand slam since Harold Baines on May 4, 1999, to beat the Rays 10-6 in the final game of the streak.

* Two of Jim Johnson’s three blown saves in 2012 came during the streak. The first one happened at Fenway Park on June 5. Johnson allowed a two-run homer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the ninth inning and then retired the side in the 10th inning to get the victory. Johnson’s second blown save came in the ninth inning against the Tigers on July 14. He allowed three runs in the top of the ninth inning of a game the Orioles won in 13 innings.

See a full rundown of the 17 extra-inning victories on Roar from 34.

Matthew Taylor blogs about the Orioles at Roar from 34. His ruminations about the Birds appear as part of’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our site. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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